The genome of Mesobuthus martensii reveals a unique adaptation model of arthropods

Zhijian Cao, Yao Yu, Yingliang Wu, Pei Hao, Zhiyong Di, Yawen He, Zongyun Chen, Weishan Yang, Zhiyong Shen, Xiaohua He, Jia Sheng, Xiaobo Xu, Bohu Pan, Jing Feng, Xiaojuan Yang, Wei Hong, Wenjuan Zhao, Zhongjie Li, Kai Huang, Tian LiYimeng Kong, Hui Liu, Dahe Jiang, Binyan Zhang, Jun Hu, Youtian Hu, Bin Wang, Jianliang Dai, Bifeng Yuan, Yuqi Feng, Wei Huang, Xiaojing Xing, Guoping Zhao, Xuan Li, Yixue Li, Wenxin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


Representing a basal branch of arachnids, scorpions are known as 'living fossils' that maintain an ancient anatomy and are adapted to have survived extreme climate changes. Here we report the genome sequence of Mesobuthus martensii, containing 32,016 protein-coding genes, the most among sequenced arthropods. Although M. martensii appears to evolve conservatively, it has a greater gene family turnover than the insects that have undergone diverse morphological and physiological changes, suggesting the decoupling of the molecular and morphological evolution in scorpions. Underlying the long-term adaptation of scorpions is the expansion of the gene families enriched in basic metabolic pathways, signalling pathways, neurotoxins and cytochrome P450, and the different dynamics of expansion between the shared and the scorpion lineage-specific gene families. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses further illustrate the important genetic features associated with prey, nocturnal behaviour, feeding and detoxification. The M. martensii genome reveals a unique adaptation model of arthropods, offering new insights into the genetic bases of the living fossils.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2602
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'The genome of Mesobuthus martensii reveals a unique adaptation model of arthropods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this